Planning for a longer healthier life

As educators we are all very aware of the importance of planning and evaluating to achieve meaningful success and progress. However, applying this knowledge to looking after your own health and lifestyle may not be top of your priority list. 

As the mornings and evenings are now much lighter and the weather improves, we wanted to talk about simple ways to help keep you motivated when it comes to your fitness and wellbeing.

The process of setting out a planned programme, measuring and recording progress can have a positive outcome on your results and helps remind you of how far you’ve come from the start of your journey to a healthier you. 

Learn to enjoy your exercise sessions

Exercise is a physical activity which will sustain or improve your health and fitness but that is only if you engage in the process. Your mind and body will benefit every time you move your body around so focus on looking for activities which you can fit easily into your lifestyle and which you enjoy doing so you are less likely to revert to the cycle of finding excuses not to do it. 

Evaluating and measuring your progress

One way to measure your health and fitness is by using the fitness measuring devices and apps which are readily available. 

Dr Michael Moseley reminds us that most people may not realise they have a fitness tracker on their phones. If you don’t have one, you can easily download one of the free versions from your online app store. Listen to Dr Michael Moseley’s podcast here https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001wh8w

It’s amazing how, without realising it, you can sit for far too long staring at a computer or device or watching TV.  We are all aware that doing this as a habit can be detrimental for physical and mental health so if this is you; one way to break this routine is by setting up one of the apps which reminds users to stand and move every hour.

Even if you don’t have a wearable device that reminds you to move, you can always set an alarm on your phone to encourage you to get out of your chair and do something active – move around, do some stretching, if you can go outside and take a short walk.  

Why should you consider keeping a record of your exercise sessions?

Once you start to engage in an exercise routine keeping a record of your workouts can help you in other ways, including identifying patterns to help you plan a programme which works best for you. For example, by evaluating your progress you may find you can run/walk faster and further in the morning than the evening so you can adjust your fitness routine to gain maximum benefit.

You can measure your starting point and plan realistic and achievable goals and see how much fitter you can become in just a few weeks.

Measuring and reviewing your efforts can help you stay motivated

On some days, for any number or reasons, you may be tempted not to keep up with the routine. It is on these days where you can benefit from reviewing the daily, weekly, monthly progress you have made. Those recorded walks, runs, steps, cycle rides, etc. all count and are there as a positive reminder of what you have achieved and give you a tangible reason to keep going to maintain your fitness.  

Reviewing your figures each week may even make you want to push further. You can start to set goals based on your results and then celebrate those targets when you achieve them. It may open up opportunities to further adventures and activities that you weren’t previously aware of.

If you have a wearable exercise tracker you could set up a friend’s group and keep each other motivated, see who can do the most steps in a week, etc.

Do a walking challenge?

Maybe you could get fitter with walking and join one of the charity walking challenges in June?

Cancer research have some Big Hikes planned in June – find out more here https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/get-involved/find-an-event/big-hike  

The Time Outdoors website has various walks for different charities across the UK, you can find out more here https://www.timeoutdoors.com/events/walks/charity-walks/uk/june-2024

If you search in Google there are many walking challenges throughout the year.

7 reasons to recording your fitness

According to the National Institute for Fitness and Sport blog keeping track of your fitness can keep you committed to your plan. Read their 7 reasons here

https://www.nifs.org/blog/7-reasons-to-track-your-fitness-progress

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